What Is The Deal With Sunscreen?!

Choosing a healthy sunscreen, that actually works and doesn’t make you look like a snowman is the hardest part of summer…am I right?!

Below, I’ve explained the differences between the kinds on sun protection, and broken down information to make it easier to understand, therefore everyone can make a good decision. Plus, I’ve listed some of the ones that I’ve tried and loved (or don’t work as well as I wished they did!)


UVA (ultraviolet A) — longwave rays; can reach the deeper layers of the skin, including the epidermis and dermis. Can lead to skin aging prematurely, leading to discolouration and wrinkles. Can also lead to immune system suppression. 

UVB (ultraviolet B) — short wave rays; usually causes superficial burning, and doesn’t get far past the skin’s surface layer. Can absolutely damage skin over time, even though it isn’t reaching the skin’s deepest layers. 


Chemical — is absorbed into the skin, and provides protection from the sun

  • Active Ingredients: oxybenzone, avobenzone, meradimate, para-aminobenzioc acid (PABA), homosalate, octocrylene, trolamine salicylate

  • The sunscreen actually absorbs the UVA and UVB rays.

  • Needs to be applied 20-30 minutes before sun exposure so that it can be absorbed. 

Physical — stays on the outside layers of the skin, and provides a physical blocker for the sun. 

  • Active Ingredients: zinc oxide, titanium dioxide

  • These ingredients work by reflecting the UVA and UVB rays so that they do not harm the skin. 

  • Can be applied and start working immediately. 

Everyone should be applying sunscreen each morning - YES even if it’s cloudy or rainy. This will help protect your sun from premature aging. If you will be out in the sun all day, you should apply sunscreen before you go out, and approximately every 2 hours after that (…and even more if you are swimming, sweating etc). I would also strongly recommend wearing at hat to make sure that your face is out of the sun.

Don’t forget your lips, ears, back of your neck, top of feet and back of hands (especailly if driving in the sun) when applying sunscreen - these areas tend to be forgotten often. Also, your scalp! 

Other ways to help protect skin? Staying covered up, drinking lots of water, antioxidants (eaten in foods, as well as applied topically on skin) and reapplying sun protection

There are some of the brands that i have tried so far - it doesn’t mean they are necessarily the best, I just gave them a try and here is my honest opinion about them: 

Coola - I tried the tinted face sunscreen, and it goes on so nicely. It protects from sun exposure, and gives you nice colour so it’s great daily under makeup or on it’s own. It has the properties of a BB Cream so it also blends well on skin to blur imperfections. 

Green Beaver - I tried the spray sunscreen, and it’s great for days boating or at the beach. It’s a little on the oily side, but I actually prefer that because it keeps my skin moisturized and it does work to protect sun. Because it has a liquid consistency, it goes on easily and doesn’t leave your skin white. 

Badger Balm - with the cleanest of ingredients, I found Badger works really well but is hard to rub in and can come out really thick. This was before they came out with their new ‘clear zinc’ sunscreen which I will be trying this summer! From what I’ve heard, it still is clean and works as well as before, but goes on clear! [Let me know if you’ve given this new one a try]

Constonant - I tried the Perfect Sunscreen for face. It uses zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to protect from sun. It goes on clear and is not greasy, so works under makeup - especially since there’s a light tint to even out skin. 

Mad Hippie - I am currently using this one of my face daily, and it works well on it’s own for a day at the beach, but also goes under makeup really nicely. I love that it smells great, isn’t greasy and doesn’t leave your skin white. It also has lots of antioxidants that help to protect the skin from further environmental damage. 

Graydon - This Canadian company makes sun creams with lots of superfoods (HIII👋🏼 spirulina + raspberry seed oil) to help further protect the skin. The ingredients are zinc oxide, so they reflect sunlight. I’ve tried both the Elements Sun Cream and Face Glow. Though Face Slow doesn’t state that it is  a sunscreen, it does have zinc oxide in it, so I feel good wearing it under makeup year round - though it may not enough for spending time in the direct sun. 

Suntegrity - I tried the 5-in-1 Natural Moisturizing Face Sunscreen which is tinted so it goes well under makeup or on it’s own. It uses zinc oxide to block sun and it’s certified organic, vegan and cruelty free. 

Green Cricket - I tried the face sunscreen, but I actually use it on my body as well. It goes on pretty smoothly, it just needs to be rubbed in, but it’s very gentle and won’t irritate skin. It protects from sun well, it’s not to greasy or white and I like to just keep this one in my car incase I am sitting in the sun for a long time. P.S. it’s made in Canada!

Sunscreen is SO important. In 2017, an estimated*: 

  • 7,200 Canadians were diagnosed with melanoma skin cancer

  • 1, 250 Canadians died from melanoma skin cancer

  • 4,000 men were diagnosed with melanoma skin cancer and 790 died from it

  • 3,300 women were diagnosed with melanoma skin cancer and 450 died from it

*(this information was found from the Canadian Cancer Society website)

Last year, my dad was diagnosed with Squamous Cell Carcinoma on his lip, luckily he is okay now. This topic is very close to my heart, and the importance of wearing sun protection daily is very underrated. It’s something that is pretty easy to do on a daily basis, and it can protect you in the future. 

#spf #sun #sunscreen #health #greenbeauty #natural #chemicalfree #toxinfree #healthy

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© 2019 by Kate, Naturally

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